Contact Shannon at:

Shanspitz Kennels is located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


I am an avid exhibtor of the breed and a reputable breeder and one that prides herself on being ethical, upholding the Canine Control Council of Qld Code of Ethics and ensuring that the breeds future is my foremost concern, not just selling puppies.

So whether you are looking for an additional family member or a champion show dog, from a breeder of multiple champions and a grand champion remember me, as a caring, loving and reputable breeder and one that cares about the health and the homes her puppies go to.

Shanspitz Kennels is located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Contact Shannon at:


(picture is of Paris 3yrs old)

White wonder

The Japanese Spitz has been recognized as a breed for more than 40 years, but it did not reach the West until the beginning of the 70s and the first European areas to accept the breed was Scandinavian countries and Great Britian. Until 1985 it remained unknown and ignored by most people, such as France, Germany, Italy and Austria. Later the Japanese Spitz spread rapidly, despite the relatively few specimens, and gained more and more followers as soon as its excellent qualities were discovered and appreciated.

The Japanese Spitz has been a real discovery, actually, because its handsome appearance like that of a small-sized snow white arctic dog is complemented by some very particular temperamental characteristics. (it is often improperly called “mini – Samoyed”)

In fact, this dog is endowed with a marked sense of property and territory, as well as a strong personality lacking in submissive-ness, and is naturally inclined to assume the role of a true protagonist in the family right from puppyhood. Its behaviour towards man reflects a sense of mutual friendship rather than instinctive submission. This has created new situations of co-habitation even for long-experienced fanciers. And it is a common occurrence that people who have had a Japanese Spitz as a pet are no longer able to find satisfaction with any other breed.

Origin of the Japanese Spitz

The first information we have about the development of the breed dates back to not more than 80 years ago and it has now been proved that this dog was created and developed in Japan by expert cynologists between 1920 and 1950; their starting point was a number of spitz dogs imported at different times from different countries.

As with many other breeds, we do not know the precise recipe for the cocktail from which the Japanese Spitz was born, so various theories have been put forward. Moreover, there is a veiled dispute between those who regard this dog simply as a descendant of the German Spitz and those who consider its origins as more distinctive and singular.

From the information we have collected and the arguments we have put forward it can be stated that:

1. The Japanese Spitz was originally created from at least 2 varieties of dogs; the American Eskimo and a white Russian Spitz (Laika) imported to Japan via Manchuria.

2. Direct utilization of the German Spitz to develop the original Japanese Spitz is still under debate, even if it is likely; at any rate this breed had an important part in the development of the Japanese Spitz indirectly through the American Eskimo.

3. It seems that the direct descendant of the Japanese Spitz from the Samoyed must be excluded, although the two breeds show remarkable similarities and some Samoyed blood may have come to the Japanese Spitz through the white Russian Spitz (Laikas) imported from Manchuria.

4. After the Second World War the Japanese Spitz suffered from some uncontrolled cross-breeding with other similar dogs (German Spitz, American Eskimo, Samoyed, unidentified white Japanese dog), but the efforts of the breed fanciers managed to save this dog from significant debasement in time.

(picture is of Paris 4yrs old)

Characteristics of the Breed

The Japanese Spitz is a classic medium-sized spitz covered with a thick, snow white stand-off coat, which consists of a long straight outer coat held by a profuse and soft under coat. The head has a sharply pointed muzzle and triangular shaped ears standing erect. The tail is of medium length, has a rich fringe of long hair and curled over the back. The overall quality of the body should be firm and strong, full of flexibility. Fore and hindquarters should be well proportioned and balanced. The general appearance should be noble, first of all, and united in a perfect sate, indicated structural beauty in a harmonious whole. The ideal ration of height at shoulders vs length of body is 10:11.

Its not hard to see why one would love the Japanese Spitz. It’s an alert, lively, bold, eager to please, intelligent family dog. They are companion dogs and make wonderful versatile pets. They tend to be wary of strangers upon first meeting, so time and patience is required for this bread to become familiar with your guests and friends, but after that you have a friend for life. They are great watch dogs as they keep constant and careful watch over their territory.

Despite its impressive coat, the Japanese Spitz is surprisingly easy to maintain. They require a brush once a week except for when they shed their coat which is twice a year then daily brushing is required to remove the dead hair. This usually last up to a week. They don’t have a doggy smell even when wet and as their coat has a silk component mud and dirt does not stick to it so if you are worried about your pristine white dog getting muddy, rest assured this will brush out easily, leaving your dog white again.

(picture is of Da Vinci 12 weeks old)

General Appearance

Profuse, pure white stand-off coat. Pointed muzzle, triangular shaped ears standing erect. Bushy tail curled over back. Overall quality of body firm and strong, full of flexibility. Any yellowing of the coat generally means old coat and the moulting process is underway.

Average Lifespan
When considering a dog please realise you are taking it on for its lifetime. Japanese Spitz lives to around 12-14yrs or age.

Average Size,Weight, and Height at shoulder:

Dogs: 34 - 37cm (13 ½ -14 ½ inc) Dogs: 8– 8 ½ Kilos
Bitches: 30 - 34cm (11 ¾ 13 ½ inc) Bitches: 7-7½ Kilos

Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament

The Japanese Spitz is a family dog. They thrive on human companionship. They are an intelligent breed always eager to please, each dog developing its own personality. In temperament, they are alert, intelligent, bold and lively. They tend to be wary of complete strangers that rush up to them without formal introduction. They prefer a gentle approach, after which you have a friend for life.

The are characterized by their great courage, affection and they are devoted companions. They are small enough to enjoy being a lap dog, but let it be aid, at their discretion, for despite these qualities are nevertheless of an independent nature with a will of their own.

Compatibility With Other Pets

As a companion dog the Japanese Spitz should be familiarised with other household pets at an early age; it will then live happily and reliably with them. They can have a dominant nature and when introduced to a household with other breeds they may very quickly become "The Boss" even over much larger breeds.

Care Requirements

Despite its long pure white coat the Japanese Spitz is a low maintenance breed. Contrary to most people's expectations and beliefs their coat is very easy to look after. Because, due to its texture/silky component , mud and dirt fall off or can be brushed out very easily. While they love to play in the dirt, this is a fastidious/clean dog that does not like getting dirty and, like a cat, will lick itself clean. Provided they are kept well groomed (about once a week) they should only require a bath about once a month. They shed their coat twice a year. The shedding will usually only last one week and the ead hair is easily brushed out. In between shedding times you will not get any hair loss so about two weeks in the year you will need to brush them daily to help remove the dead hair. Some people save the hair and have it spun to knit with.

They do not need lots of exercise, but they are an active breed and enjoy being taken for a walk. If they are bored they can be mischievous. They are not a dog you can leave in the backyard and forget. They enjoy living both indoors and outdoors, in fact they enjoy being wherever you are, they thrive on human companionship but are happy to be the only dog in the backyard (ie they don't need another companion dog).

Ideal Owner/s

The Japanese Spitz is a family dog seeming to thrive on the different attention and affections from each family member. Although they will choose one family member as their leader and bond more closely with that person. A young puppy (3-12months) could be a "handful" for children under the age of 5 without adult supervision. Having said that, they also make an excellent and loving companion for a single person.

In ConclusionNow you know a little about the Japanese Spitz and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, please contact me to gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs or for information about available puppies.

Choosing a Puppy

I often get asked which sex is better Male or Female? My answer to that is that puppies are like children, you don't know what you are going to get personality wise. It is the same with puppies. Each puppy develops it's own individual personality as it grows and this becomes more obvious when they leave their litter mates. It is a personal choice when it comes to either getting a female or a male puppy.

About Shanspitz Kennels

Hi, my name is Shannon Watherston, I live in the bay suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I first saw the Japanese Spitz at a Brisbane Pet and Animal Expo in 1998. I fell in love at first sight, how could you not!

My husband David and I were looking for our first dog. His only 2 requirements in our new dog were that it did not "smell" and that it did not slobber". I had in mind a smallish dog but not too small and one that would not fret if it was left alone during the day while we were at work. Now in saying that the Japanese Spitz is a dog that needs to be with you but they are also very independent and enjoy their own space and time. So the Japanese Spitz was a perfect match for us. I too, as most do immediately thought that it would be a high maintenance dog with such a lovely white and long coat. But much to my amazement they are actually a low maintenance dog which "Dr Harry" has said on his show when they test run the Japanese Spitz.

So I did some research into the different breeders and contacted a breeder and put my name down on her puppy list. I waited over 12 months for my baby girl. I was at first just wanting a pet as I was not interested in showing or breeding at the time. My husband took me to a dog show at Durack on the Canine Control Council Show Grounds where his uncle was up from NSW showing his Doberman's. We spent the day watching all the different breeds and all the goings on at the show. I came away from there wanting to show myself. As I have had show horses the show circuit is like second nature to me. So I called the breeder and said that I would ideally love to show and if I could change my order to a show female. Then Chanel arrived to our home, and changed our lives forever. She was such a character and entered our hearts and gave us lots of love and joy. Sadly Chanel passed away in April 2010 just shy of 11yrs old. Rest in peace my very much loved and missed beautiful girl.

After having Chanel for over a year I decided that I would like to get a male to show and one that would be compatible for Chanel for breeding. So I contacted the breeder of Chanel and she put me in contact with a Breeder in VIC.

Then came Jester into our lives. He is the biggest sook you will ever meet. He is such a champion as he was always willing to come to the Brisbane Pet Expo's with me each year for the 5 years that I exhibited the Japanese Spitz Breed to the public and he would willing sit up on the table for the 3 days letting everybody pat him and cuddle him and take pictures with him.

A few years later and three litters later, I decided to keep a puppy for myself from my third litter. Paris is the newest addition to the family and has fitted in like she has always been here. Jester is her best friend and you will often see them just lying together grooming each other and playing in the backyard. Secretly, I think they are in love.

We now have Da Vinci in our lives who is the son of my girl Paris. He is a full on puppy that is either flat out or stopped, there is no in between for him. He is taking the show ring by storm with many class in show awards already and a runner up best exhibit in group at only 7.5mths of age. The best is yet to come from this young fella. I am very excited about our showing future together.

So for someone who just wanted a pet dog, I am now an avid exhibitor with 3 Japanese Spitz, and I have had the Japanese Spitz stand at the Brisbane Pet and Animal Expo for 5 years, where I would take in my dogs for the 3 days and exhibit and educate the public on this rare and beautiful breed. I have had some great helpers too over the years, that assisted me each year, these being my puppy people. People that have bought puppies from me have given up their time and come in with their dog/s to assist me on my stand.

I have also presented the breed and the breed standard to trainee judges to assist them in learning about the Japanese Spitz which they are required to do to become championship judges. I have done this on behalf of the Canine Control Council of Qld. I was also a committee member of the Brisbane Pet Expo Committee and I am currently on the committee of The Queensland Kennel Council of Qld club and soon to join other clubs and offer my assistance.

So whether you are looking for an additional family member or a champion show dog remember me, as a caring, loving and reputable breeder and one that cares about the health and the homes her puppies go to. Shanspitz Kennels is located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Contact Shannon at:

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